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Campus style: Curating your fall campus wardrobe

By Aymen Sherwani, October 22 2021—

It’s that time of the year again. The leaves are turning yellow, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back and the crisp autumn air carries the hopeful, yet cozy, promise of growth and ambition as we once again step foot onto campus after over a year. It’s time to give it your all as in-person classes roll back around, but it’s only natural that you also put your best fashion foot forward and make a statement with a gender-neutral capsule wardrobe that will last you through the winter, too. 


2021 is the Year of the Shacket. Whether it’s a thick, plaid and woolen, or a sleek oversized leather one, shackets are making their stand this year and look amazing when they’re paired with a fitted turtleneck and mom jeans. A timeless alternative, however, is a nice houndstooth or dark plaid blazer for a more dark and earthy academia look. The reigning champion of fall will always be a long wool coat — while most people opt for a standard camel colour, I personally prefer a rich, chocolate brown. It’s style-versatile, elegant and seamlessly blends into your winter wardrobe — I would recommend investing in actual wool that will last for years rather than a cheap-feeling polyester replica from H&M or Zara that will collect lint within the season. 


Sweater vests are officially making a comeback this fall and, in my opinion, are slowly ushering the 2016-era, chunky-knit cardigan out the door. Whether you pair them with a t-shirt or a dress shirt, they are easily one of the most iconic fall statement pieces right now — but are in tight-competition with the highly-adored turtleneck. It’s really easy to look frumpy in a turtleneck, but to achieve a more elevated look, invest in a cashmere or wool piece that has a flattering cut, which follows the contours of your body but also leaves room for comfort. While we all gravitate towards neutral and dark tones in the fall, keep your eye out for some stunning sage green pieces this year as well. 


You really can’t go wrong with a classic black or white tee, or long-sleeve. These can be elevated with some statement pants, or kept casual with sweatpants on the days when we prioritize comfort over making a statement. Definitely go for the cheaper options here as no one will be able to tell the difference between a $5 and $50 plain tee anyway. If you’re dramatic like me, you’ll get a sleek and form-fitting bodysuit that gives off an air of luxury when worn on it’s own under some trousers, or even toned down with an oversized cotton dress shirt and jeans.  


Two words — leather pants. They will single-handedly transform every outfit you wear from muted to magazine-worthy. Obviously, they’re not an everyday piece and are definitely not projected to be around forever, so don’t feel bad about not breaking the bank for a pair that costs over $100. The most important thing you should know is that pants should always be tailored to your body and not the other way around, so shop around for the cut that best suits you rather than chasing unflattering trends. Whether we’re talking about iconic leather pieces, patterned trousers, or light-wash jeans, the most flattering cuts on anyone are paper bag waists, straight legs, or anything slightly oversized that offers the wearer both style and mobility. 


The shoes you choose to wear out will make or break your entire outfit so, obviously, try to deviate from your everyday Converse pair this season. For a casual look, you really can’t go wrong with the Nike Air Max 90s. Not to mention how great they are for sprinting to class on the other side of campus within 10 minutes. If you’ve been a fan of the leather ankle boot, it’s time to move on to better things in life like mid-calf leather boots that are reminiscent of Daphne from Scooby-Doo and a much more groovy time in the fashion world. But if you choose to die on the hill that is ankle boots, I suggest opting for vinyl or latex instead of leather this season for a more cutting edge aesthetic.   

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